Friend ignoring him
Hi, my son suffers from severe social anxiety,
In Primary school he made a good friend who was one year ahead of him, Anyway his friend went off to High school while he did his year 6 last year feeling lonely. Now this year my son has started High school, he hasn’t gone much at all this year but when he does he feels lonely, I have spoken to teachers and they re-introduced him to his friend from primary and his new group of friends but he reckons that they all ignore him.
He tells me that he feels stupid and has a dumb brain and he doesn’t know what to say.
I feel helpless and am unsure of what I am able to do to help him?
Any helpful information would be wonderful.
Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out.
I'm really sorry to hear about your son and his feelings of loneliness at high-school. It must be exceptionally hard for him to deal with severe social anxiety whilst also feeling as if his new group of friends are ignoring him. Have you ever considered discussing whether or not he would like to seek some professional support to better cope with his social anxiety? I know psychologists and counsellors can be really helpful in teaching different strategies and techniques to cope with social anxiety.
For tips on how to approach your son about seeking some assistance, these two links may be helpful:
Also if you would like to get some resources, information, and advice as to how you can navigate this situation please feel free to contact the Beyond Blue line on 1300 22 4636.
I can really tell how much you love and care for your son. You should feel really proud of yourself for being super proactive about your sons situation - I'm sure he would be super appreciative of it.
Wishing you the very best and please feel free to update us whenever you feel up to it! ~
It's tough starting a new school, and high school particularly when 'big kids' suddenly become 'little' in the scheme of things. To make the situation worse, the disruptions to attending have created anxieties in many students and the struggles of reconnecting and forming new friendships are completely understandable.
What particular attributes does your son possess (sport, music, art, science, etc)? This should ensure he connects with like minded students through shared interest - friendships inevitably follow. You can also support the process (with a new football, for instance) to provide the impetus within his peer group to value his provision and engagement.
Naturally, words will flow from the activity and extend beyond with the closer friendships that develop over time. The school itself will offer activities (dances, camps, etc.) to strengthen and challenge students as they learn to relate to others in social and personal matters.
I hope your son finds this a rewarding period in his life and that you can promote his independence and encourage engagement in safe knowledge that you will be right behind his endeavours.